looking through me

Tag: morning

coffee memories

Six mornings a week I pour coffee and cream into my commuter mug. I don’t depress the button and drink the coffee until I arrive and settle in at work or church. Coffee is to be savored, not consumed mindlessly on the drive.

But today the commute was a catastrophe. Twenty minutes and two miles into a nineteen-mile drive any semblance of a routine day was shot. Waiting to get to work before enjoying my coffee became a punishment—not a reward—so as I sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic I took my first sip.

And I remembered again that coffee is more than a part of my daily ritual. It hit my taste buds and triggered a flood of associations:

Coffee tastes like stepping into childhood and the aromatic embrace of Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

Coffee tastes like watching the sunrise in the stillness of the desert.

Coffee tastes like quiet moments before the office fills with people.

Coffee tastes like curling up with a book on Saturday morning.

Coffee tastes like long, soul-satisfying conversations with those who know me best.

Coffee tastes like the band warming up before the service on Sunday morning.

Coffee tastes like lingering around the table on holidays.

Coffee tastes like the sweet communion of unhurried time with Jesus.

By the time I pulled into a parking space at work my mug was empty, but my well of remembrance was overflowing.


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carpool lane debris

The seconds and minutes pass by at such a speed I miss most of them. A few noteworthy ones jump out, but most are behind me before I knew they were before me.

That’s life.

This morning an accident occurred miles ahead of me. I sat in one of the thousands of cars stuck in its wake. And as I inched along a stretch of freeway in single-digit miles per hour, I noticed the things I race by every other day.

Along the center median I saw a man’s dress shirt: white with blue stripes. How did a dress shirt come to rest on the freeway? Did it fly out a window? Or did paramedics cut it off someone at the scene of an accident?

For several miles I inventoried all the debris along the center divider. There must have been a story behind each blown out tire tread, hubcap and car bumper; but those were far less intriguing than the lid to the 52-quart Igloo cooler, the pillow or the shovel handle and thirty feet later the shovel blade . . . for a snow shovel. The six-foot metal pipe and the splintered two by fours seemed less out of place than the orange hard hat that was missing a quarter of its left side. And the foam insert for a microphone case and the cargo shorts—doesn’t someone need those?

As I noticed each item left behind—whether intentionally or accidentally—I wondered what I leave in my aftermath.

What stories are attached to the moments trailing behind me, the ones I rush past without a second thought day after day after day?

Sometimes I need an event out of my control to slow me down and give me space to notice the narrative I’m writing with my life.


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